Senior Sales Manager Lee Anne Tilley on Lone Survivor Foundation’s Fundraiser at SMG City Centre


SMG City Centre closed to the public for half a day to host a red carpet fundraiser for Lone Survivor Foundation, with director Peter Berg in attendance. The film showed on all screens and many naval veterans came out to see the film with their families and supporters.

I love my job.  A lot of people aren’t able to say those words, so I do not take that for granted.  As Senior Sales Manager for Studio Movie Grill Private Events, each day I am exposed to new people and new experiences, but I have to share my favorite experience yet.

On November 17th, I was lucky enough to be part of the LONE SURVIVOR premiere fundraiser event in Houston, Texas, at our City Centre location.  If you’re not familiar with LONE SURVIVOR, I will give you a brief overview.  Marcus Luttrell wrote the book…the movie, to be released on December 25th, is based on his book and experiences as a Navy SEAL.  The story follows the failed mission of SEAL Team 10, Operation Red Wings, and is truly an account of courage and heroism.  Luttrell, since returning from serving in Afghanistan, started a foundation called the Lone Survivor Foundation.  The fundraiser hosted at SMG City Centre was held to support this foundation and Luttrell’s efforts to give back to our men and women in service.

Marcus Luttrell, subject of the film and his wife Melanie pose for a photo on the red carpet.

Marcus Luttrell, subject of the film and his wife Melanie pose for a photo on the red carpet.

This event was so important that director and producer Peter Berg was in attendance.  He and Marcus went into each theater following the film screening to thank everyone for coming and supporting the film and Marcus’ foundation.  Many of the Navy SEALs involved in saving Marcus and the widows of those that did not survive were in attendance along with some major Houston celebrities.  It was quite a day!


Director Peter Berg held a post screening Q&A to talk about making Lone Survivor, the featured film.

Shaking Marcus Luttrell’s hand was truly an honor.  Here is this man who has sacrificed so much for his country, has lost friends in combat, has seen horrors we will never see, and he is standing in front of me.  He has more courage in his pinky finger than I could ever hope to possess.  I am inspired.  This is why I love my job.  Not only am I allowed to do what I love to do, but I am inspired.  SMG donated over $7,000 to the Lone Survivor Foundation and helped to raise thousands more.  This isn’t work, this is a privilege, and I am so grateful for that privilege.


Chasing Beauty – A Runway Hit at Studio Movie Grill

On Thursday, January 24, Studio Movie Grill played host to Exclusive Premiere Screenings of the documentary film, Chasing Beauty at our locations in Spring Valley, Wheaton and Duluth.

At the Spring Valley event, we collected donations for the local chapter of Attitudes and Attire, an organization that helps the needy acquire the proper clothing and skills to re-enter the workforce and become self sufficient after personal hardships.

Guest speakers from Pilates Barre and BeautiControl gave out goodie bags to attendees that contained up to $75 worth of beauty products and a certificate good for one free Pilates class.

Following the screening, filmmaker Brent Huff and a panel of experts from the beauty industry conducted a lively Q&A.  Panelists included Whitney Caston, Director of Nutrition at Walker Wellness Center; Elizabeth Lindberg, Owner of Pilates Barre; and Jodie Warner from Alliance of Women in Media.

With two packed auditoriums, the event had an amazing crowd, the type of women that make me happy we have them as our patrons.  So many happy smiling faces, everyone so incredibly friendly and excited to be there.  Everyone was dolled up to express his or her own excitement about feeling beautiful.  Following the Q&A we invited guests for the rare opportunity to take photographs of themselves with their glammed up friends in the theater to remember the occasion.

The film presented a humanistic look at the hardships men and women put themselves through in order to feel beautiful or pursue a career in modeling or entertainment.  As opposed to models simply complaining that “it isn’t easy being pretty,” as comes to mind from a 1980s ad campaign, the film shared the human experience with us, that often we envy the lifestyle and image models and actors portray, but in reality the lives those people lead does not always match up with the image they represent.

Members of the audience found moments to laugh and cry and to deeply connect with the film’s unifying theme that we are all unique individuals who feel different and pressured to conform to some nebulous idea of the perfect image.  The film closed on the inspirational note that being different is what makes us beautiful, and that it takes a special strength to identify your own beauty and harness it to pursue the life you want.

Additional Chasing Beauty events exclusively at SMG coming up include:

City Centre

January 31 @ 7pm

Guest speakers include former Ford Model, Shawn Huff, and representatives from Fashion Group International.


January 31 @ 7:30pm

Special Post Screening Panel with Experts from Phoenix Fashion Week.